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Views of Haida Gwaii
Haida Gwaii: The Islands of the People
Untouched Natural Beauty
There is an island chain off the northern coast of British Columbia that offers pristine ocean vistas and untouched natural beauty that is unlike anything I've witnessed in my years of travel.
Fortunately, for the Queen Charlotte Islands and the few thousand people that inhabit the 150 island archipelago, it is not so easy to get there. The land is rich with history of the Haida people; a First Nations tribe that lived on the land, utilizing the natural resources that are abundant in the island chain. There remains to this day several ancient villages which are accessible to visitors and are an extension of an amazing adventure amongst the cedar, spruce and hemlock trees that populate the rugged terrain.
I was fortunate enough to tour the southern most part of the islands on a kayak tour with a highly reputable company called Butterfly Tours www.islandsofbeauty.com. On the tour, our group paddled single kayaks in a beautiful yet challenging setting. We witnessed the strength and beauty of Humpback whales, saw a dozen or so Puffins resting on the ocean swell, smiled upon the Sitka black tailed deer that approached us unafraid, and watched the large Stellar's Sea Lions as they fished the edge of the Pacific Ocean.
For the truly adventurous, a kayak trip to the Charlottes is definitely worth a thought. Given the chance, it is something those in my tour group agreed they would do again. Being able to paddle a single kayak offers freedom and a personal challenge which, in such an amazing part of the world made for a holiday that will never be forgotten.